Beatrice and the Beast by Ken Coleman and Verity Goodyear
After losing her father in the great fire of Chicago and being forced to sell their house and possessions in order to pay off his debts, Beatrice, is left destitute and penniless. In desperation, she agrees to become a mail order bride to a rich Texan rancher who buys her a ticket to Wichita and promises someone will meet her off the train and guide her safely, to his Ranch.
When she eventually meets up with her guide, Frank Zelletta, she is surprised and horrified to find, he is a hulk of a man who is badly scarred and utterly terrifying, as well as belligerent and very bad tempered.
Having very little money and no prospects, she is left with no other choice, after he promised to protect her, than allow him to chaperone her on the long journey to Texas, a journey that is fraught with danger and extreme hazards.
As the long trek through three states continues, and despite her many misgivings about her guide, she gradually, learns, he isn’t the man many people warned her about and begins to see a different and more caring side to his nature. Therefore, it’s only a matter of time before she begins to develop strong feelings for him leaving her with a dilemma as she is torn between her love for Zelletta and the dangerous, haphazard existence he would offer. Or the luxurious and relatively safe life she could expect with the rancher she is betrothed to, a man she has never met and who, is many years her senior.